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THE ATARI 
800 HOME 
COMPUTER 




OWNER'S GUIDE 



A 

ATARI 



A Warner Communications Company Q 




Congratulations on your purchase of the ATARI® 800™ 
Home Computer. You now own one of the most affordable, 
enjoyable, and easy-to-use computers for the home. 

Affordable, because ATARI Computer equipment, programs, 
applications, and games, are priced within reach of the home 
computer user. 

Enjoyable because not only will you have fun writing your own 
programs, but there are also many programs, games, and other 
applications available, so you can start using your ATARI 800 Home 
Computer right away. Home study, home office, and home 
entertainment programs can all be purchased from your ATARI 
Computer retailer. 

The ease begins when you set up your system using your own 
television set as a display unit. All the components easily 
interconnect with special plugs in a manner similar to connecting 
stereo equipment. 

Of course Atari, being known for the unbeatable graphics and sound 
capabilities of its Video Computer System™ game, has put these 
same qualities into its home computer. The graphics capabilities of 
the computer are demonstrated in all ATARI Computer programs, 
especially Star Raiders™ and Missile Command™. The computer's 
sound capabilities include four independently programmable sound 
channels — unique to ATARI Home Computers. 

Included with your ATARI 800 Home Computer is an ATARI 
BASIC programming language cartridge, ATARI BASIC 
Reference Manual, and an ATARI BASIC Self-Teaching Guide. 



CONNECTING 
THE ATARI 800 
HOME COMPUTER 



This guide helps you set up your ATARI 800 Home Computer in ten 
easy steps. It also briefly introduces you to the ATARI BASIC 
programming language and shows you some of the capabilities of 
your computer. 

INSTALLING THE TV SWITCH BOX 

The TV Switch Box connects to the VHF antenna terminal at the back 
of your television set, and converts your television display from 
regular TV programming to your ATARI 800 Computer. If you also 
have cable TV, you can connect the switch box to the cable service 
as well. 

1 Disconnect the present 
antenna or cable from the 
TV and reconnect it to the side of 
the TV Switch Box labeled 
ANTENNA. If it is a flat, twin-lead 
cable, connect it to the terminals 
marked 300 OHM on the TV 
Switch Box. If you have a round 
cable, attach it to the threaded 
connector marked 75 OHM. 



2 Now locate the short, twin- 
lead cable marked TV that 
comes from the TV Switch Box 
and connect it to the two VHF 
terminals on your TV set. 




3 Peel off the protective cover 
sheet from the self-adhesive 
square on the switch box and 
press the switch box onto the 
back of your television so it 
adheres to the casing. 

If your TV was connected to the 
switch box with a flat, twin-lead 
(300 Ohm) cable, you are finished 
installing the TV Switch Box. 




4 If the cable is round (75 
Ohm) you may need to ad- 
just the antenna terminal switch 
on your TV so it can receive the 
300 Ohm signal from the TV 
Switch Box. Make the necessary 
adjustments as shown in the 
illustrations. 

If you have a VHF antenna 
adapter that looks like the one 
in the photograph below, move 
the antenna cable from the 
adapter to the 300 OHM (or 
300 Q ) position on the switch 
box. Connect the short, twin- 
lead cable coming from the TV 
Switch Box to the adapter. Slip 
the adapter onto the threaded 
connector so the pin-like pro- 
jection makes contact. 




If it looks like this, push the switch to the 
300 (3009) position. 



If it looks like this, loosen the screws 
holding the U-shaped slider and move it 
to the position on the switch box marked 
300 OHM (or 300 Q). 




CONNECTING THE 
COMPUTER CONSOLE 

S Locate the round cord that 
comes from the back of the 
computer console. Plug the end 
of this cord into the terminal on 
the TV Switch Box labeled COM- 
PUTER (GAME). Then move the 
switch into the COMPUTER 
(GAME) position. 




6 Turn on your TV set and 
tune it to Channel 2 or 3 
whichever is weaker in your 
area. 



7 Set the Channel Select 
Switch on the right side of 
the computer console to the 
same channel. After you turn on 
the computer, you may need to 
adjust the fine-tuning knob 
on your TV to improve the 
reception. 




MONITOR 



POWER 
ON OFF 



POWER 
IN 



PERIPHERAL 



2-CHAN.-3 



8 Locate the AC Power Adapt- 
er that comes with the com- 
puter and plug the round end of 
the power adapter into the con- 
nector labeled Power In on the 
side of the computer console. 

9 Plug the other end of the 
power adapter cord into a 
wall outlet. 




WYou are now ready to turn 
on your computer. Make 
sure the cartridge door is closed. 
The mam power switch, labeled 
POWER ON/OFF, is located on 
the right side panel of the com- 
puter. As soon as you move the 
switch to ON (and assuming you 
have not inserted the ATARI 
BASIC cartridge), the words 
ATARI COMPUTER-MEMO PAD 
appear on your TV screen. 
Whatever you type will also be 
displayed on the screen. 

The white square you see on the 
screen is called a cursor, and 
shows you where you are on the 
display, 

You may notice the colors on 
your TV screen changing 
periodically. This is normal and 
occurs to protect your TV set. 




If your TV doesn't display ATARI 
COMPUTER-MEMO PAD or the 
words you type, check over all 
the previous steps. If you find the 
system is connected properly, 
make sure the cords are 
plugged securely and power is 
coming into the system. If you 
still don't get the proper display, 
then your computer may need 
servicing. Contact the authorized 
ATARI Computer Service Center 
listed in the yellow pages of the 
telephone directory, or call 
ATARI Customer Service/Field 
Support toll free at 800-538-8737 
from anywhere in the continental 
U.S. (in California, call 
800-672-1430). 



CARTRIDGES 



IPull the release lever down 
(as shown) to open the car- 
tridge door. Whenever you do 
this, the computer automatically 
turns itself off. When you close 
the door again, the computer 
turns itself back on. 



2 Insert the cartridge into the 
left slot with the label facing 
you. Press down on the car- 
tridge gently, but firmly, until the 
cartridge is in place. 

3 When you close the car- 
tridge door, the red power 
indicator to the right of the key- 
board lights up and the TV 
screen displays the title screen 
or prompt for the cartridge you 
selected. Then follow the in- 
structions that come with the 
cartridge. 

When you insert most cartridges 
(particularly games), many of the 
keys on the keyboard stop work- 
ing. The instructions that come 
with each cartridge tell you 
which keys you can use. 




THE ATARI 800 
COMPUTER KEYBOARD 



Many of the keys (shown in grey) 
on the computer keyboard func- 
tion the same as they do on a 
typewriter. The tinted keys are 
used for screen editing; that is, 
they move the cursor on the 
screen to the location you want, 
and allow you to modify the 
display. These modifications may 
include insertions or deletions to 
a program you are writing or 
other types of text. 

The (ESCAPE) key function 
depends on the application with 
which you are working. For in- 
stance, if you are writing pro- 
grams, the key disables the 
cursor control movements and 
prints a graphics character in- 
stead. Or, if you are working 
with the ATARI Word Processor 
and are in the edit mode, press- 
ing takes you out of the edit 
mode. 

To give you an idea of how the 

key works as a graphics 
key, remove the ATARI BASIC 
cartridge from the computer and 
turn on the system. After ATARI 
COMPUTER-MEMO PAD ap- 
pears, follow these steps: 

• Hold down the key and you will 
see the graphics character ^ appear 
on the screen. 

• Refer to the Escape Key Chart for the 
additional graphics characters you 
can create by using in conjunc- 
tion with other keys. 

Now try the (ATARI logo) key. 

• Press the key, then hold down the 

and you will see 2's typed in in- 
verse video. Inverse video is text 
being shown in dark letters against 
a light background. 

• To return to regular video display, 
simply press the key again. 



I ( — A ( — "i i — ti f 

llnjiJk juJLw— IL^JL«-JL. li ij A\ jiJLjJb— 

( 1 ( ■ ( — ~~W ( ■ ( — ' — ■ f ■ ( ■ ( U ( "1 ( ■ ( *1 

iS - M U J i m HI* ■ '■ It i > i ll It Iv i J>i Ji i\ 



ImEELWaj 




' — ^( — ~t1f 
M^ x 'V " 

J 



DO THIS 



ESCAPE KEY CHART 



SEE THIS 



PRESS 



PRESS SIMULTANEOUSLY 



PRESS SIMULTANEOUSLY 




CONTROL GRAPHICS 
KEYBOARD 




EB ATARI 



nnnnnnnnp 



ii JLJIJiJiJLJy 

^ II 11 Jl i. Ii II 



The (Control) key plays an important part in the screen editing 

functions; however, another key must be pressed while holding 
down the key for something to happen. The following list tells 

you what function occurs when the second key is pressed with the 
key. 

Moves the cursor up one line without changing the 
program or display. 

Moves the cursor one space to the right without 
changing the program or display. 

Moves the cursor one line down without changing 
the program or display. 

Moves the cursor one space to the left without 
changing the program or display. 

Lets you insert a special character or space. 



Lets you delete from where you are on a line back 
to the beginning of that line. 



I 



A double-actior 
restarts the sen 
program. 

Rings the buzze 
Lets you mdica* 



The following keys and combine 
screen editing: 



When writing p 
combination let: 

When writing p 
combination let; 
In Direct Mode, 
lets you back-sp 
deleting what w 




J I it 11 J^ Bll fl 




;ey combination that stops and 
n display, without leaving the 



the end of a file. 



)ns of keys are also used for 

>grams (Deferred Mode), this 
/ou insert one line at a time. 

grams (Deferred Mode), this 
fou delete one line at a time. 
)ressing by itself 

ce one space at a time, 
3 typed. 



Puts the screen display into uppercase. 



Moves the cursor back one space at a time while 
deleting what was typed. 

Switches between normal and inverse video. 
When using a printer, the text programmed in in- 
verse video will be underlined when printed. 

Usually interrupts whatever function the computer 
is performing at the time is pressed. It is 

necessary for you to refer to the individual pro- 
gram or game instructions for its exact function. 



To see what graphics characters are available when the key is 

used in conjunction with alpha character keys, refer to the Control 
Graphics Keyboard. 



You will find it helpful if you take The larger keys to the right of 



a few minutes to play with the 
keyboard and familiarize 
yourself with the different 
capabilities, particularly the 
graphics keys. 



the keyboard are unique to the 
ATARI 800 Home Computer. 

stops the computer 
from continuing what it is doing 
and restarts the program from 
the beginning. 

You use the key to select 

one of several applications or 
games within a cartridge or pro- 
gram. 

The key lets you choose 

one of the variations available 
within a game or application. 

Pressing the key tells the 

computer to begin running the 
game or application. 




MORE ABOUT YOUR 
ATARI 800 COMPUTER 



THE COMPUTER 
MEMORY 

Memory makes it possible for a 
computer to store information 
which can be recalled when 
necessary. The amount of 
memory in a computer is what 
determines how much data can 
be stored. Your ATARI 800 Home 
Computer comes with one ATARI 
Memory Module™. However, 
your computer's memory can be 
expanded by purchasing addi- 
tional ATARI Memory Modules 
from your ATARI Computer 
retailer. 




THE CARTRIDGE 

Many programming languages 
games, and applications come in 
the form of a cartridge. These 
cartridges contain the actual pro- 
gram or programming informa- 
tion required to perform the 
desired functions. 

The programming language 
cartridges contain the instruc- 
tions and other types of code 
making up that particular 
language. When you write a pro- 
gram, you are organizing these 
instructions into a meaningful 
procedure that the computer can 
understand and then execute. 




OSER 

RAM 

^wm, CONSOU 

^«CXL4007 



The game cartridges contain the 
entire program for that game. To 
begin playing the game, all you 
need to do is insert the cartridge, 
turn on the television, make sure 
the TV Switch Box is on COM- 
PUTER (GAME), and turn on the 
computer. Then follow the game 
directions and have fun! 



ENJOYING YOUR 
ATARI 800 COMPUTER 



Now that you have had a chance 
to become familiar with your 
computer system, let's do some 
simple programs for fun. The 
programs listed are written in 
ATARI BASIC, and will give you 
an idea of some of the things you 
can do. To learn more about pro- 
gramming your ATARI 800 Com- 
puter in ATARI BASIC, please 
refer to your ATARI BASIC Sell- 
Teaching Guide. Then use your 
ATARI BASIC Reference Manual 
as you become more familiar 
with the language. 

If you make a mistake while 
typing in a line of your program, 
press the key until 

you delete the error. Then type 
the correction and continue. You 
can go back to an error by 
holding down the key while 

pressing one of the arrow keys. 
Press to delete the 

error, then type the correction. 

It is also necessary to press the 
key after you type in each 

line of information. Pressing 

"enters" the information 

into computer memory. 




Program One is a computer 
game, Program Two is a sample 
of your computer's sound 
capabilities, and Program Three 
shows some of the graphics 
capabilities of your ATARI 800 
Home Computer. 



Before you type each new pro- 
gram, type NEW to clear the 
computer's memory, and then 
press -rmm. 

Make sure you have inserted the 
ATARI BASIC cartridge into the 
left cartridge slot. 

Should you type RUN and get 
and Error Message that looks 
like this: 




The computer is telling you there 
is a mistake in program line # 10. 
You must go back to that line, 
find the mistake, and make the 
correction. 



Program One: 



100 REMARK *** THI5 IS A SIMPLE COMPUTER GAME 

110 LET X = INTC100*RNDC1))+1 

120 PRINT 

130 PRINT "I'M THINKING OF A NUMBER FROM 1 TO 100. 

140 PRINT"GUESS MY NUMBER ! ! ! " 

150 PRINT : "YOUR GUESS" } : INPUT G 

160 IF G<X THEN PRINT "TRY A BIGGER NUMBER. " 

:GOTO 150 
170 IF G>H THEN PRINT 

:GOTO 150 
180 IF G=K THEN PRINT 

:GOTO 110 



TRY A SMALLER NUMBER. 



THAT '5IT!! ! YOU GUESSED MY NUMBER. 



Now type RUN and press the 
Program Two: 



key. 



10 READ A 

20 IF A = 256 THEN END 

30 SOUND 0..fl,.lO,.16 

40 FOR M=l TO 40 : NEKT M 

50 PRINT A 

60 GOTO 10 

70 END 

BO DATA 29,31,35,40,45,47,53,60,64,72,81,91,96,108,121 

90 DATA 128,144,162,182,193,217,243,256 

Now type RUN and press the rujih i't key. 



Program Three: 

8 REM*»*****COLLAPSING BOXES**»**»» 

18 TRAP 2O0: J=0 

20 GRAPHICS 7 + 16 

30 X1=INTCRNDC0}*80) 

40 Y1 = INTCRNDC0)»50) 

50 X2=X1 + INTCRNDC0)*80) 

60 Y2=Y1+INTCRNDC0)*48) 

65 IF X1=X2 OR Y1=Y2 THEN 30 

70 COLOR INTCRNDC0)*3 + 1) 

80 PLOT XI, Yl 

90 DRAHTO XI, Y2 

100 DRANTO X2,Y2 

110 DRAMTO X2,Y1 

120 DRAMTO XI, Yl 

122 Xl=Xl + 2: Yl = Yl + 2 

124 X2=X2-1 : Y2=Y2-1 

140 GOTO 70 

200 J=J + 1 : TRAP 2O0 

205 FOR K=l TO 200 : NEXT K 

210 IF J<10 THEN 20 

215 END 

Now type RUN and press the | key. 



EXPANDING YOUR 
ATARI 800 HOME 
COMPUTER SYSTEM 



One of the features of your 
ATARI 800 Home Computer is 
its expandability. You can add a 
printer, a program recorder, and 
disk drives. Each piece of ATARI 
Computer equipment is made 
specifically for your ATARI Com- 
puter, connects easily to the rest 
of your system, and has the con- 
sistent quality you have come to 
expect from Atari. You can also 
add a large family of other 
peripheral equipment, such as a 
modem, digitizer, plotter, sensor, 
or controllers. 

Your ATARI 800 Computer 
comes with a 10K ROM (Read- 
only Memory) module, which is 
part of the Operating System. 
The ROM is like the conductor of 
an orchestra, directing every 
part of your system— telling it 
what to do and when to perform. 
Some of the ROM module's 
specific functions are performing 
arithmetic calculations and 
generating the different colors, 
along with the letters you see on 
the screen. 



ADDING MORE 
MEMORY 

Your computer also comes with a 
16K RAM (Random Access 
Memory) ATARI Memory 
Module. This means it can hold 
16,000 characters of information. 
However, your system can be 
expanded to hold 48K RAM, 
which stores up to 48,000 
characters of information. 



The memory modules are 
located under the ribbed section 
of the console cover, and the 
following steps show you how to 
insert additional memory 
modules into your ATARI 800 
Home Computer. 



IOpen the cartridge door as if 
you were going to insert a 
cartridge. 



2 Rotate the black latches 
located above the cartridge 
slot in the direction of the arrows 
as shown, 



3 Carefully remove the ribbed 
cover from the computer. 
You will see a 10K ROM module 
and one 16K RAM module 
already inserted. 




4 Position your new memory 
module directly behind the 
existing 16K RAM module and 
push it firmly into place. 



5 Place the cover back into 
position, making sure you 
match up the notches on the 
lower back section of the cover 
and the cover housing. 



6 When the cover is in place, 
press down on it with one 
hand, and move the latches back 
into the locking position with the 
other hand. If the latches do not 
lock without force, remove and 
reposition the cover. 




You may eventually require a 
printer to obtain a copy of pro- 
grams or data. This might be the 
case when using programs such 
as the Personal Financial 
Management System™, 
Biorhythm, Dow Jones* Invest- 
ment Evaluator™, Mailing List, or 
programs you write yourself. 
Atari has three printers available 
which can be easily connected to 
your computer. 

ATARI 822™ 
THERMAL PRINTER 

Prints 40 characters per line 

Printing speed of 37 char- 
acters per second 

Prints upper/lowercase 
and point graphics 

Plots points one line at a 
time 

• 5 x 7 dot matrix thermal 
printer 



ATARI 820™ 
40-COLUMN PRINTER 

Prints 40 characters per line 

Printing speed of 40 characters 
per second 

• Prints upper/lowercase 

• 5 x 7 matrix printer 

ATARI 825™ 
80-COLUMN PRINTER 

• Must be used in conjunction 
with the ATARI 850™ Interface 
Module 




Printing speed of 50 to 83 
characters per second de- 
pending on character set 

• Prints 80 to 132 characters per 
line, depending on character 
set 

• Prints three character sets: 
monospaced, monospaced 
condensed, and proportional 

• All characters can be 
elongated (printed double 
width) 

• Prints upper/lowercase 

• Full and half-line spacing 

• Forward and reverse line 
feed 

• Underscoring and 
back-spacing 
capabilities 

• Right margin 
justification 

• Handles three 
types of paper: 
fanfold, roll, and 
individual sheets 








*Trademark of Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 



The computer runs programs 
from its RAM, and the RAM re- 
tains programs only as long as 
the computer's power is on. If 
you want to store programs or 
data, you do so on cassette tape 



to use the programs, you simply 
LOAD them into RAM and tell 
the computer to RUN them. Some 
ATARI Computer programs are 
available on ROM cartridges, 
which are faster and easier to 
load, but also more expensive. 
Atari makes two program storage 
devices. 



<g'W////////j 




ATARI 410™ 
PROGRAM RECORDER 

The ATARI 410 Program Record- 



storage capacity to your com- 
puter system. It attaches easily 
and directly to your computer 
console, or to any other ATARI 



have. 

ATARI 810™ 
DISK DRIVE 

The ATARI 810 Disk Drive adds 
fast, reliable storage capability. 
Your files can be stored by 
name, and are more accessible 
when you want them. 




Up to four disk drives can be at- 
tached to your ATARI 800 Home 
Computer. Each unit is capable 
of storing 88K (88,000 characters) 



BEEBiBgMBta 



inch floppy diskettes. 

GAME ACCESSORIES AND 

Ar ■ 



Accessories, such as joy-sticks 
and paddles, which are required 
by some of the ATARI Computer 
games and programs, are 
available from your ATARI Com- 
puter retailer. 

Please check the ATARI Home 
Computer Product Catalog, also 
available at your ATARI Com- 
puter retailer, for our full line of 
programming languages, home 
study, home office, and 

»home entertainment pro- 
grams and accessories. 



i 



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91K 



A 



ATARP 

A Warner Communications Company ^^ 



Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the product documentation in this manual. However, because ATARI, INC. is constantly improving 
and updating the computer software and hardware, we are unable to guarantee the accuracy of the printed material, or accept responsibility for errors 
or omissions after the date of publication. 

No reproduction is allowed without the specific written permission of ATARI, INC., Sunnyvale, CA 94086. Nor can this document or the subject matter 
thereof be reproduced without written agreement or written permission from the Corporation. 

MAN UAL CONTENTS© 1981 ATARI, INC. PRINTED IN U.S.A. CO60057 REV. 1